Friday, December 11, 2009
Hitch's TV rant - What's yours? It may be valuable - By Robert W. Walker
Discussion on a chat group that purports to have 4,000 subscribers turned to the question what mystery series would you like to see become a TV program? This got me to wondering what my friend Hitch—an avid reader—might answer if given a place to fully vent, so here is Hitch’s take on the question, a rather wonderful rant if you ask me…and it gave me an idea for a contest here. Here is the deal. You can win a place in my next book – your name gets to be one of my characters if you can provide the neatest, coolest pet peeve rant about TVs shortcomings. Use Hitch’s rant below to get your spleen spleening and your eyes popping Be aware that you are not asked to beat Hitch’s rant as that is highly unlikely, but the best other comment will win the contest. Hitch, pictured on the left, is not a contestant, only a standard. Here is Hitch on the subject of what’s wrong with TV programming and her suggestions for a better series.
Vis-à-vis Bones: I know that – cute as David Boreanaz may be – every time I see an episode of Bones I think of what could have been, had they actually used Kathy Reich’s BOOKS and created the series there-from. I know I would have liked it a lot better than what they’ve put on the air. (Or am I the only person who finds the whole “poor-pitiful-genius-me-abandoned-by-my-folks-raised-by-wolves-so-I-have-no-social-skills-but-am-in-charge-of-the-“Jeffersonian”-laboratory-when-I’m-barely-out-of-puberty-and-isn’t-it-inexpicably-great-that-everyone-on-this-show-just-seems-to-think-I’m-amazingly-hot” thing just nauseating?) In fact, there are very few shows that I can stand to watch at all (I admit I’m a Fringe fan – love the cow), simply because they are just sooooooooooooo bad. I was channel surfing just a night or so ago, and – I kid thee not – I saw a scene in one of those CBS CSI shows in which a character says to a bunch of cops “everyone turn their cellphones off. This place has been used for a meth lab, so we can’t risk the slightest chance of a SPARK,” while they were entering a building with their guns drawn. I laughed so hard I actually had to run to the bathroom – which I suspect wasn’t quite the emotion the producers and writers intended to evoke.
Perhaps it is a function of age; maybe after you’ve seen the same plotline 100 times, it’s just intolerable due to redundancy, but I genuinely believe that shows are increasingly insipid, tailored toward a commensurately illiterate audience. (Sigh)…I’d still love to see Davenport , though. And Flowers.
Don’t get me started about freaking CASTLE. As I posted to the list some time back, I was not able to make it through the first episode, I thought it was utter dreck. White Collar? As someone else stated, it’s just It Takes A Thief without the wonderful Robert Wagner or Malachi Throne, and frankly not as interesting. The CSI’s, particularly the two “spin-offs” ( Miami is literally unwatchable) are horrible. The Forgotten? Fuhgeddaboudit. “Lie to Me?” At least it has whats-is-name, who is a wonderful actor, and makes the series, even though the premise is totally absurd. Criminal Minds? On a bobsled to obscurity without Patinkin, and now too soapy for words. House has turned into Soap Opera, which I absolutely despise. Hell, I am now waiting practically BREATHLESSLY for Jack Bauer and 24, which tells you how desperate I am, along with Burn Notice, which I really do love (can’t turn down anything with Bruce Campbell in it). Tried “V,” gave that up quickly. Gave up on Lost several seasons back. Hell, I can’t find ANYTHING I like on TV since they couldn’t get whats-is-name (David Milsch?) to continue writing Deadwood. I *am* watching “DaVinci’s Inquest” reruns on Sleuth, though; THAT was a decent series, wish it was still on.
(Sigh)…enough of a TV rant. What do you expect in a society in which everyone is willing to watch “reality TV” which is nothing more than 8th grade all over again? Popularity contests in which so-called “contestants” get “voted off the island” or “off the show” or whatever? I have never watched a single reality show and never will; I think it’s an abuse of the FREE airwaves. See, now I’m ranting again, I’ll shaddup NOW.
AND so I got an earful, which I decided must be shared with all my acme friends; it was too good not to put to use. SO now what pet peeve about TV programming or a single program, especially mystery-drama drives you up the wall? Please leave word on what book series you’d like to see as a TV series? At present Hollywood is looking at my Instinct Series. Whether anything comes of it or not, like Kathy Reichs, I will probably lose all control of my characters and plots if anything comes of this admittedly shaky deal. Reichs is even a producer on Bones but I can’t imagine that she’s happy with the direction the show has gone in…wrong turn TV.
To win a place in my next book, leave a maliciously funny or spirited rant about what bothers you most about TV today? I will check back all week long to see what my net catches.